8.15pm Melanchthon on CentreRight: "I believe our society has developed a distinctly unhealthy collective obsession about child abuse, particularly in the form of paedophilia. Partly, that is a reflection of our appalling lack of disciplined sexual morality – we are almost all aware, instinctively, of how inadequate our own sexual morality is, so to comfort ourselves that we are not as bad as all that, we focus attention and hatred on those whose sexual conduct failings we are confident are worse than our own."
5.15pm Jonathan Isaby on CentreRight: YouTube has deleted all my favourite channels! To which ones should I subscribe?
12.45pm Two CentreRight posts on the new Independent Safeguarding Authority:
- Graeme Archer: "This insidious, filthy law will lead to an increase in mutual distrust and the fostering of the corrosive anti-child culture which causes most men to shy away from so much as talking to a child in public"
- Julia Manning: "Bureaucratic, divisive, corrosive, duplicated, wasteful, negative nonsense".
11.30am Jim McConalogue on CentreRight: The EU Referendum cover-up – how Brussels is deceiving the Irish
- Spending on Armed Forces "could by cut by Conservatives"
- Jack Straw is "inherently sympathetic" to Saving General Election Night
- How East Hampshire council takes inspritation from Star Trek in embracing radical initiatives
- The quangocrat who praises Common Agricultural Policy for helping us survive the 2001 Foot and Mouth outbreak
- Yesterday's by-election results
- Lord Adonis tells Sky's Jeff Randall that Gordon Brown is "very seriously considering" a TV election debate between party leaders
- Ed Balls and Andy Burnham teach schoolkids how to sneeze
"An astonishing 11.3million people - one adult in four – are likely to come under the watchful eye of the Independent Safeguarding Authority… Every person who comes into regular contact with children or the elderly, through work or volunteering, must be approved by ISA officials checking for criminal convictions, disciplinary action and even unproven allegations… Shadow home secretary Chris Grayling said: 'We are going to drive away volunteers, we'll see clubs and activities close down and we'll end up with more bored young people on our streets'." – Daily Mail
Local authorities set to inherit powers from quangos under a Conservative government…
"Boris Johnson has asked David Cameron for extra powers, including responsibility for housing and rail transport, if the Conservatives win the next election. Councils that are run by the Tories are in line to inherit functions currently exercised by quangos, which would be abolished by a Conservative government. Mr Johnson and other local government leaders are in advanced talks over which powers they want, The Times has learnt. The Mayor of London is seeking additional authority over housing, rail transport and traffic on the Thames as well as emergency-planning functions." – The Times
"Localism is about more than having the right policies. It's about understanding that not all good ideas are dreamt up in a policy unit in Whitehall. It means realising that many of the best and most cutting-edge policies actually come from local government… It is not only possible to cut costs while improving services – Conservative councils are doing it right here, right now." – Extract from a speech by George Osborne quoted in The Independent
Michael White: Tories learn to love localism – The Guardian
Tories focus on cuts to reduce deficit
"Spending cuts, rather than tax rises, would be the main focus of efforts to reduce the budget deficit under a Conservative government, George Osborne said on Thursday. The shadow chancellor also pledged to set out plans before the election for a cull of civil servants on a scale that would “pleasantly surprise” taxpayers." – FT
Jeremy Hunt on the future of the BBC
"The Shadow minister does not want the BBC to get bigger, neither does he want the licence fee to rise higher than its £142.50-a-year level. “It is completely ridiculous that the BBC is getting an annual increase in the licence fee when there is no inflation.” But it appears that he does not want the Corporation to get much smaller either, even though that would be music to the ears of its commercial rivals." – The Times
Grant Shapps MP: Returning power to the people is the only way to restore our discredited parliamentary system
"The past six months has been an uncomfortable time to be in public office as the extent of abuse and sheer rottenness of the system has became apparent. But out of this political crisis comes an opportunity – the catalyst for rebuilding our broken politics. We must start by wresting control from the quangos and bureaucrats and making the ballot box relevant to the lives of our voters again." – Grant Shapps MP writing in The Guardian
"But beyond the personal chemistry, there is an argument that President Obama's world-view will put him at odds with a Conservative British prime minister. During much of the last 18 months, commentators in Britain have warned regularly that Barack Obama harbours some kind of inner distrust of the United Kingdom, and western Europe in general… No matter the issues, political differences between Obama and Cameron are unavoidable. There will be no joint ideological project, like Reagan and Thatcher, or Clinton and Blair. They may both capitalise on the public mood for change and reform, but their domestic challenges and solutions will contrast in countless ways." – Richard Wolffe writing in the Daily Telegraph
TaxPayers' Alliance and the IoD on how to cut government spending
"Pressure on parties to spell out specific spending cuts will grow tomorrow when two rightwing pressure groups set out plans for £50bn in cuts, insisting the proposals are practical and will not hurt vital services. The Taxpayers' Alliance and the Institute of Directors propose abolishing Surestart and child benefit, and imposing a one-year freeze on the basic state pension and on all public-sector pay except for the army. Both groups hold sway inside the Conservative party and the proposals will be welcomed by shadow ministers eager to have outriders creating a climate of respectability around big cuts." – The Guardian
"He understands how the internet has changed politics. He can see what has happened in the US, where mega-blogs such as the Drudge Report and the Huffington Post are closing down newspapers, where the web allows people and resources to be marshalled as never before, and where Barack Obama raised $600 million from three million online donors, forever changing the relationship between parties and corporate interests." – Daniel Hannan MEP in the Daily Telegraph
Andreas Whittam Smith: Cameron is as obsessed with winning headlines as Blair
"Mr Cameron's headlines obscure more than they illuminate. So many questions are left unanswered. In government would he seek to maintain a top-heavy ministerial team in order tightly to control the House of Commons? Does he see any merit in sustained, line-by-line examination of government bills or does he wish to rush things through as his predecessors have done? Would Mr Cameron make a break or not with government by headline? Is he more of the same?" – Andreas Whittam Smith in The Independent
Thatcher shared Nicholas Ridley's fears over a re-united Germany
"He was forced to resign from Margaret Thatcher's Cabinet after voicing his own acerbic view of the Germans. Nicholas Ridley had described the EU as 'a German racket designed to take over the whole of Europe', adding that giving up sovereignty to Brussels was as bad as giving it to Adolf Hitler. But it emerged yesterday that while his public comments in 1990 cost him his career, similar sentiments were being privately shared by his own prime minister and France's president Mitterrand." – Daily Mail
Boris to visit the New York Stock Exchange – Press Association
Brown ponders PR referendum – Independent
"A successful businesswoman in her own right, would Samantha Cameron be happy to be harnessed to his election campaign as the pace hots up? Happy is not the word most people in their circle would use. Willing, yes, if it didn’t compromise the family privacy. But happy? That depends. “SamCam”, you’re quickly informed, is an asset but not an appendage. She may have a desirable line in accessories (handbags and leather fripperies at Smythson of Bond Street, the stationers’ she reinvented), but she is wary of becoming one herself." – Daily Telegraph
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